Piers Plowman and Intertextuality.
WL’s use of Latin quotations consciously creates an intertextual relationship in a poem that attempts to bridge the gap between traditional manifestations of truth and the apparent inability of mankind to accept and act on it. PPl, a book “against a simple and above all theoretical use of texts,” often uses Latin quotations to suggest the disparity of word and action, preaching and being, The B text, much more intertextually complex than C, exhibits surprisingly different attitudes toward Scripture -while its authority is never questioned, WL is always suspicious of misquoting, misapplying, and misexplicating. WL’s way of translating Scripture into his poem can be seen as an analogy of the Incarnation, with poetic discourse attempting to recreate the activity of Divine Grace in society.
Poetica (Japan) 32 (1990):8-24.